• Distinguished Heads of State of CEMAC, Dear Brothers,
  • Your Excellencies,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you once again to Yaounde, for the Conference of Heads of State of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). It is being held in-person for the first time since November 2019, because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, as you are aware.

On behalf of the Cameroonian people and on my personal behalf, I wish you and the delegations accompanying you, a warm welcome to Cameroon and a pleasant stay.

Your presence at this meeting bears testimony to our common desire for a strengthening of the bonds of solidarity, fraternity and cooperation existing between the States and peoples of CEMAC. It is my wish that our proceedings be crowned with the success that has always characterized our meetings.

  • Distinguished Heads of State, Dear Brothers,

The challenges along our path to the integration of our States are multiple and varied. The world is changing, and CEMAC cannot afford to stay on the sidelines of this dynamic.

As you are aware, the world is now a global village. Distance is no longer an obstacle, interconnections are intertwining and we have all become interdependent.

This is evidenced by the war in Ukraine, with the ensuing hike in food and energy prices, and the successive waves of COVID-19, with its adverse social and economic impacts worldwide.

The ongoing structural reforms under the CEMAC Economic and Financial Reform Programme (PREF-CEMAC) are pertinent, and warranted by our awareness of the far-reaching changes taking place in the world and in our sub-region.

This conference affords us the opportunity to review, among other things, the status of implementation of this Programme which, as we know, is considered by experts as the right path to the consolidation of our sub-region’s economic vitality. It will also enable us not only to address the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war on our economies, but also to streamline the two Central African regional economic communities, just to mention these few points.

Indeed, our common resolve to coherently foster the economic and social development of our countries has highlighted the need to merge the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The same holds true for the reform of some community institutions, namely the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC), or merging of the two sub-regional stock markets.

  • Distinguished Heads of State, Dear Brothers,

The well-being of our brotherly peoples also hinges on a harmonious integration of our national economies through the implementation of our transformative and integrative projects.

In this regard, we will need to focus on the implementation of our second-generation Regional Economic Programme which is centred on a portfolio of twelve priority integrative projects that can fast-track CEMAC’s physical and trade integration. We will also need to accelerate the release of the CEMAC biometric passport. All these actions will foster better intermeshing of our States, increased movement of people and goods as well as improved performance of our economies.

However, all of this cannot be achieved without peace and security within our national and sub-regional borders.

Insecurity caused by internal and cross-border armed groups roaming our sub-region definitely features among the threats looming over the development of CEMAC. Their activities are all the more dangerous as one of their attacks cost the life of our late brother President Idriss Deby Itno. They have compelled our States to make huge sacrifices in terms of security spending.

Although we have made major strides here and there, we need to stay on the alert   and not relent in our efforts. Such is the case, for instance, with the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

We should stay true to our national and community commitments in order to restore peace and progress in our countries and our sub-region. To this end, solidarity should be the watchword.

  • Distinguished Heads of State, Dear Brothers,
  • Your Excellencies,
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

While reiterating my wishes for a successful meeting, I declare open, the proceedings of the 15th Ordinary Session of the CEMAC Conference of Heads of State.

Long live      the Central African Economic and Monetary Community.

Long live regional cooperation.

Thank you.


Yaounde, 17 March 2023

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